Some people will tell you—in writing workshops, classes, conferences—that getting published should not be your goal. That you should write for the love of it, and not worry if what you’ve written is ever read by anyone else.
There may be some merit in that point of view if what you’re writing is a personal or family history meant only to be left as a legacy. Other than that, I don’t buy it. Why would you write if not to be read? That seems to me to be the whole point. If you’re not read, are you even a writer? I don’t think so.
There are those who say the sheer act of writing makes you a writer. How so? Compare it to, say, an interest in plumbing. Sure, you can play around with pipes and wrenches and fittings all you want. You can even take a course and get a certificate in plumbing. You can buy all the tools and equipment. And you can take a lot of enjoyment and personal satisfaction from it all. But until someone hires you, and pays you, to pound on their pipes you are not a plumber. Not really.
I don’t see writing as all that different. Putting words on paper is the beginning of being a writer, not the end. Because if those words aren’t published, aren’t made available to other eyes, they might as well not exist.